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Nov 3, 2014

13 top firms settle SEC charges over Puerto Rico junk bonds

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Units of 13 major Wall Street firms, including JP Morgan and UBS, improperly sold bonds from Puerto Rico’s landmark March junk deal to retail investors who may not have understood the debt’s riskiness, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said on Monday.

The firms will pay penalties ranging from $54,000 to $130,000, without admitting or denying the regulator’s charges that they violated a new rule on minimum denominations for municipal bond sales. This is the first time the SEC has brought a case based on the rule, which prohibits dealers from selling bonds to individual buyers below a certain threshold amount.

Oct 27, 2014

Detroit had to file bankruptcy, use land, to fix woes -attorney

DETROIT, Oct 27 (Reuters) – Detroit could only deal with its
fiscal woes, including a big public pension burden, by filing
for bankruptcy and tapping into the city’s one abundant asset,
land, to reach settlements with key creditors, an attorney said
on Monday.

Bruce Bennett, Detroit’s lead attorney at law firm Jones
Day, began closing arguments in the biggest-ever municipal
bankruptcy case, working to win federal court approval for the
city’s 1,165-page debt adjustment plan.

Oct 17, 2014

Detroit bankruptcy case winds down, leaving loose ends to tie up

DETROIT (Reuters) – Closing arguments in the hearing on Detroit’s landmark bankruptcy are just days away, leaving odds and ends for the city, its creditors and U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes to resolve.

After closing arguments, expected on Wednesday, Rhodes will have to determine if the city’s plan to adjust $18 billion in debt and obligations and exit the biggest-ever municipal bankruptcy is fair to creditors and feasible for the city to follow.

Oct 16, 2014

Detroit, FGIC deal resolves pension debt, includes arena

DETROIT (Reuters) – A settlement between Detroit and its last major holdout creditor, Financial Guaranty Insurance Co [FGIC.UL], resolves all issues involving the city’s outstanding pension debt, an attorney for the city said on Thursday.

Corinne Ball, an attorney at law firm Jones Day, told U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Steven Rhodes that the settlement includes an option for FGIC to develop the Joe Louis Arena and parking garage for a mixed-use project, including a hotel.

Oct 9, 2014

Detroit talks with holdout creditor move to New York as clock ticks

DETROIT, Oct 9 (Reuters) – Mediation for the last, and
potentially one of the biggest, settlements in Detroit’s
historic bankruptcy case has moved to New York City, a Detroit
spokesman said on Thursday, amid a newspaper report that a
potential deal with Financial Guaranty Insurance Co is
still days away.

Bond insurer FGIC is the last major objector to the
largest-ever municipal bankruptcy, with $1.1 billion on the line
from guaranteeing payments on city pension debt. Nearly a month
ago, Detroit struck a deal with another bond insurer, Syncora
Guarantee Inc, which included a financial recovery of 13.7 cents
on the dollar and a bevy of real estate transactions
encompassing a central parking garage, development options and a
lease for part of a tunnel connecting the city to Canada.

Oct 6, 2014

Detroit not ‘where we need to be,’ but can rebuild after bankruptcy -mayor

DETROIT, Oct 6 (Reuters) – Detroit may take years before
fully functioning as a city, its mayor said on Monday as he gave
a tepid blessing to the plan for ending the city’s historic

Mayor Mike Duggan was the last witness called by Detroit’s
attorneys, who then rested the city’s case in a U.S. Bankruptcy
Court hearing on the plan to adjust $18 billion of debt.

Oct 1, 2014

Bank of America top U.S. muni underwriter so far in 2014

WASHINGTON, Oct 1 (Reuters) – Bank of America Merrill Lynch
remained the top senior underwriter of U.S. municipal
debt in the first nine months of 2014, with 262 deals totaling
$28.77 billion, Thomson Reuters data released on Wednesday

That represented more than 13 percent of sales in a year in
which issuance has shrunk. Bank of America, which was also top
underwriter in 2013, was followed by Citi, which had 264
deals totaling $24.35 billion in the first nine months of 2014.

Sep 30, 2014

Detroit should be able to borrow after bankruptcy -consultant

DETROIT, Sept 30 (Reuters) – Detroit should be able to
access capital markets and borrow at a rate of around 5 percent
after it exits bankruptcy, as long as its tax revenue remains
stable, a city consultant said on Tuesday.

But even as Kenneth Buckfire, president of restructuring
firm Miller Buckfire & Co, testified about the factors that will
help Detroit woo investors, he said the city will have to
educate the municipal bond market about the “New Detroit,” once
it exits the largest-ever municipal bankruptcy.

Sep 29, 2014

U.S. bankruptcy judge allows Detroit water shutoffs to continue

DETROIT (Reuters) – U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes ruled on Monday that Detroit can continue shutting off water service to non-paying customers, saying his court does not have jurisdiction over the issue and that suspending disconnections for six months could hurt the city’s finances.

“Detroit cannot afford any revenue slippages,” the judge said, before resuming his ongoing hearing on Detroit’s plan to exit the biggest-ever municipal bankruptcy.

Sep 26, 2014

Detroit council, mayor approve deal to restore their powers

DETROIT, Sept 25 (Reuters) – The Detroit City Council
unanimously approved a resolution on Thursday that would keep a
state-appointed emergency manager in control of the city’s
historic bankruptcy case, while returning city governing powers
to elected officials.

Shortly after the vote, Mayor Mike Duggan signed a letter,
informing Michigan Governor Rick Snyder of his approval of the
action, which followed three days of closed-door meetings.